Written for Charlie Parker with Strings
Arranged by George Russell, Edited by Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-8020DL


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Edition: Jazz Studio Ensemble Arrangement with Alto Saxophone Soloist

Description: Swing - Advanced

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

The Charlie Parker with Strings album arranged by Jimmy Carroll was so successful that a touring ensemble was put together for concerts. Examination of the arrangements in the Charlie Parker with Strings book revealed that Parker not only had settings of classic songs that were never recorded for Norman Granz, but also he had asked Gerry Mulligan and George Russell to arrange their recent (ca. 1950) compositions for him. Mulligan's version of Rocker is well known as a live recording has long been available. A private recording from 1952 has Bird roaring on another Mulligan composition that was previously unknown as a Bird with Strings arrangement, Gold Rush. Even more interesting is that George Russell arranged Ezz-Thetic for the group. There are no live performances documented, and until the discovery of the string book, it was not known that Russell even wrote this version for Bird. Any previously unknown piece of music by this composer, especially from this era, is a major discovery.

It is a great honor to have received permission to publish this important arrangement from Alice Russell. Very little of Russell's music has circulated over the years, and it is hoped that more of it will be available for study and performance in the years to come. Additionally, this is one of the few known works Russell composed for strings. As can be seen, that is our loss.

The score and alto sax part to Ezz-Thetic seem to be missing. Russell may or may not have written a harp part as there is none extant. But on the evidence that every other arranger supplied parts for harp, we have taken the liberty of compiling one that is based on the extant parts - no new music has been written for the creation of this part. The melody played by the alto saxophone is taken from a lead sheet supplied and authorized by Russells publishing company, Russ-Hix Music.

No tempo marking was present on the parts. However, when this was written, the maximum time an arrangement could run was 3 minutes (that's how long each side of a 78 rpm record would play). To get this arrangement in at 3 minutes or less it has to be played at 280 beats per quarter note. Additional evidence was supplied by listening to Russell's later recording of this same composition, which was played at approximately 300 bpm. We recognize that 280 bpm is rather fast. for the string players as well as the alto saxophonist. This piece may be played a bit slower if necessary. In addition, it may be opened up for more solos.

The sound sample we have supplied was generated by Finale. It should give you an idea of the arrangement.

Full Score
Alto Saxophone Soloist
3 Violins